NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Police in Newport Beach are trying to track down the suspect in a series of attacks on birds.
Police said they have received numerous calls in the past several weeks from residents who have encountered birds who have been shot with "arrow-like projectiles."
The projectiles are orange and about 8 inches long, authorities said. They believe they are being used in concert with some type of blow gun.
Upon investigation, police found four birds -- one mallard duck and three Heerman's gulls -- shot through the neck. They estimate more birds have been injured.
KCAL9's Stacey Butler spoke to animal experts who have been unable to help the birds despite their best efforts.
"It was heartbreaking," said Pam Goode.
When Goode saw one of the seagulls land on her duffy (a little small motorized boat) in January she snapped a picture of the wounded bird before it flew away. Then two weeks later, she saw another seagull with an arrow through its neck.
This time she called the police hoping to help the birds.
"Eventually it's going to get into their system and weaken them," she said.
Turns out Goode was one of 15 people who reported seeing seagulls and the duck with blow darts protruding through their necks in the last month.
"It's the cruelest thing anyone could ever do," said one woman, "They need to be stopped and punished."
"As an animal lover I don't know why anyone would do that," said another woman.
"They should definitely be held accountable for their actions and punished for it," said another.
Federal and state laws forbid anyone from hurting the birds.
So far, Animal Control officers have been unable to catch the birds to help them. They're worried the birds will become sick, tire out and officers won't be able to find them.
"I hope that they can find whoever is doing this," Goode said.
Police are asking anyone who has seen an injured bird to contact them so they will be able to bring them to the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach.
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